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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Twitter Gave Us an Indispensable Real-Time News Platform. X Took It Away.

Twitter Gave Us an Indispensable Real-Time News Platform. X Took It Away.

The Arab Spring cemented Twitter’s indispensable role in fast-moving international stories. Elon Musk has destroyed that and given us something useless — and dangerous.

I first began using Twitter, now X, after the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, when I could not find my family. I was in Washington, D.C. Within days of the earthquake, hundreds of volunteers, using a crisis-mapping platform called Ushahidi (Swahili for “witness”), began logging calls for help via cellphone texts and Twitter, putting them on a map and sending that information to search and rescue teams. I only found my family because Facebook and Twitter worked even when their phones and email did not.

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